Remarks by Ambassador Justin Siberell
Celebration of 242 Years of Independence for the United States of America
April 17, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
The Four Seasons Hotel, Manama, Bahrain
Good Evening. Your Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Rashid al Khalifa;
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is my honor and privilege to welcome you to this celebration of the 242nd anniversary of the independence of the United States of America.
As many of you know, we usually celebrate this occasion on the Fourth of July, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
However, we thought we’d take advantage of this beautiful Bahrain spring weather – and, it must be said, perhaps avoid what might face us in July — to celebrate early. We are very grateful to each of you for joining us.
Your Highess Sheikh Khalifa – thank you for the honor of your presence with us this evening. Your friendship and your commitment to the strength of our partnership is greatly appreciated.
And while we celebrate America’s Independence this evening, we also celebrate the strong and enduring partnership between the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The United States’ relationship with Bahrain is one of our oldest and closest in the region. It began more than a century ago, with the arrival of a group of remarkable and selfless individuals who founded the American Mission Hospital in Manama. Their example – of service, kindness and friendship – provides the foundation upon which we have built our close bond.
Our relationship has been built through the work of Bahraini and American engineers and technicians who cooperated in the development of Bahrain’s rich energy resources. And with Bahrain’s newest discovery, we hope for even more cooperation in the years to come!
Our relationship has been built through a commitment to the security of this vital region, and the hosting for more than 70 years of the United States Navy. In that time, generations of sailors and their families have enjoyed some of the best years of their lives through the generous hospitality and friendship of the Bahraini government and people.
Over those 70 years, Bahrain and the United States have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in confronting external threats, and in so doing enabling a remarkable transformation of this region to one of the most developed and prosperous the world over.
Our relationship has been built through personal friendships formed by the thousands of Bahrainis who attended America’s finest colleges and universities, and through the countless individual citizens of our two countries who have developed and maintained friendships through business, tourism, culture and the arts.
And, finally, our relationship has been built and sustained by the commitment and wisdom of our two nations’ political leaderships, who have worked together in building and expanding the blessings of peace, stability and prosperity in this vital region.
On behalf of my government, and the American community residing in Bahrain, allow me to take this opportunity therefore to thank His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, as well as His Royal Highness the Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa for their untiring support of a strong and enduring partnership between the American and Bahraini people.
The strength of our relationship is not only measured by our historical accomplishments, of course. In fact, it is as robust as it has ever been and expanding day by day.
Two-way trade in goods and services between our countries now exceeds 3 billion dollars. More and more American companies are recognizing the opportunity and positive business environment in Bahrain and are locating manufacturing and representative offices here.
And when they do, American companies bring the world’s highest quality and reliable products and services. They bring ingenuity and creative excellence. They bring a commitment to the development of human talent, and of Bahrain’s young and growing work force.
Our Free Trade Agreement continues to drive our commercial relationship forward. Exciting things are happening in technology, finance, manufacturing, logistics and education that will strengthen yet further our robust partnership.
Independence Day for Americans is a celebration of the moment we as a people began to write our own destiny. Nearly 242 years ago, with a commitment to timeless principles and inherent rights, our nation stepped forward into the world. And ever since that moment, we have looked to those who would share our commitment to peace and prosperity.
More than 120 years ago, a group of Americans landed in Bahrain not far from here, and began our remarkable journey together as friends, allies, partners. That journey leads directly to all of us in this room. Let us celebrate that journey together tonight.
Before I conclude, I would like to express special appreciation to my colleague and friend Vice Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and the 5th Fleet. As many of you know, Admiral Aquilino has been nominated by President Trump to Command the United States Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
His leadership of U.S. Naval Forces in this region, his diplomacy in coordinating and leading allied navies participating in numerous Combined Maritime Task Force operations, and his positive impact upon our relationship with Bahrain have all been exceptional. We thank you Admiral, and Mrs. Aquilino, for your service and your work in Bahrain.
Finally, in closing, let me thank our partners in making this event possible – the members of our wonderful band, the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division band, who came all the way from Fort Drum, New York, USA, to perform for us tonight.
My special thanks to our extremely generous sponsors in the American business community whose contributions have made this event possible. We could not do this without you. Thank you so much!
Thank you also to the staff of the Four Seasons hotel, the Bahrain Ministry of Interior for the excellent security support and, once again to all of you for coming.
And now I would like to invite His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Rashid al Khalifa, Admiral Aquilino, and my colleagues in the Diplomatic Corps to join me in cutting our commemorative cake.
سعادة الشيخ خليفة بن راشد آل خليفة ، السيدات و السادة، الضيوف الكرام.
مساء الخير. يُشرفني أن أرحب بكم في هذا الإحتفال بمناسبة عيد الإستقلال الأمريكي، يوم عيدنا الوطني.
نحن هنا اليوم لنحتفل أيضا بالصداقة الوطيدة و الشراكة العميقة التي تجمع الولايات المتحدة و مملكة البحرين.
و هي شراكة ملتزمة بالنهوض بالسلام و تحقيق الإستقرار و الإزدهار ليس فقط في بلدينا، بل في مُجمل هذه المنطقة الحيوية والعالم.
و بالنيابة عن الحكومة الأمريكية و الجالية الأمريكية في البحرين أودُ أن أتقدم بالشكر الجزيل الى جلالة الملك حمد بن عيسى آل خليفة
و الى صاحب السمو الملكي الأمير خليفة بن سلمان آل خليفة، رئيس الوزراء
وصاحب السمو الملكي الأمير سلمان بن حمد آل خليفة، ولي العهد،
على دعمهم و إلتزامهم المستمر بعلاقات صداقة قوية بين الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية و مملكة البحرين.